sneak peek: christine martinez of lama designs


many of you will remember christine martinez of lama designs from this post, but today we have a special sneak peek into her oakland, ca apartment  that she shares with her boyfriend. they’ve been settled in the place since april, but since it’s larger than anywhere else they’ve lived, they’ve been forced to get creative with their budget (luckily for christine, she spent some of her early years hanging out in her grandpa’s upholstery shop and she loves refinishing furniture). don’t forget to check out more of christine’s work here! [thanks, christine!]anne

[Above:Dining Room: For the first time in our post-college renting lives, my boyfriend and I finally have a dining room! On the down side, this posed a big challenge for us; how to furnish a large dinning room on his grad school budget and with me just starting a new business. We managed to find our beautiful yellow hutch at the goodwill for a bargain price and I gave it a bit of international flare with a hand-painted sign from Argentina and some hanging cappuccino cups that I picked up while living in Berlin. The dinning room table and chairs came from a nice couple we found on craigslist who had carted it all the way from Brooklyn only to discover it was too large for their new place. I reupholstered the chairs with Amy Butler fabric and placed the whole set on top of our FLOR tiles and we had the whole room furnished for just over $200. I have to say though, that the gorgeous natural sunlight we get throughout the day is the best accessory in that space. ]

Foyer: The second I walked into this apartment and saw the foyer, I knew I had to have this place! I’ve always wanted an entryway so that it can serve the same function that a great appetizer does to an entree: providing a taste of wonderful things to come. Not having any foyer appropriate furniture from my last apartment, I gathered up a few inexpensive pieces to fill the space quickly. The black table was a craigslist steal for $40. I’ve always wanted a zebra print cowhide rug (I tried dragging one back from Argentina with no luck), so until I can afford to upgrade, this zebra print rug by Dwell Studio for Target is a perfect solution. The frames were bargain finds from Alameda’s Antiques by the Bay. I painted them black to give them a more sophisticated look. I also picked up my little ceramic zebra friends for $5 on the same shopping trip.



Bedroom: My favorite piece in the bedroom is the mid century inspired bed that my boyfriend built with his grandfather. It’s such a personal piece that we both adore. Sticking with my love for colors on the warmer side of the color spectrum, I chose yellow side tables from Turquoise in Venice, CA and red spindle lamps from Urban Outfitters. The chandelier was another Antiques by the Bay find. The bedding is a mix of pieces from Room and Board, Dwell Studio, West Elm topped of with a decorative pillow from LAMA. The artwork was mostly purchased from various Etsy artists and the small wool rug, which I love against our hardwood floors, is a little something that my dog Miles and I purchased while taking a trip to Poland. (Miles now owns it. He can’t get enough of it).

Office: Just a little shot of Miles in his favorite spot next to my desk. He spends his days lounging in his adorable pup tent by Room Service in Los Angeles while I work. Both of us couldn’t be happier about this arrangement.

Living Room: Like most other renters, my boyfriend and I aren’t allowed to paint our walls. Luckily our 1920’s craftsmen style apartment has some great bones that I feel look best left white anyway. Plus, it has given me a chance to go accessory crazy, and I love a good home accessory more than most. I’m a big fan of the clean and simple lines of mid century furniture and have collected many pieces since college. To me, it screams California cool, an aesthetic I have grown up with that I keep near and dear to me. Mid century furniture also blends in well with the Victorian and craftsman style spaces that dominate parts of Northern California like Oakland and San Francisco and it has been fun for me to bring all these worlds together. I’m an avid collector of all things ceramic and have thrown a bunch of pieces around that I have collected while traveling abroad and throughout the US, with my favorite being a set of ceramic birds from Ecuadorian ceramicist Eduardo Vega, whose work I will be carrying in LAMA soon!

The “For Like Ever” poster was another trendy purchase for me. I had to have it. It really spoke to my inner Socal valley girl.  The pink bench belonged to my boyfriend’s grandmother, and I feel so lucky to have inherited this piece. It’s so sweet. The pillows on top are from LAMA, and the cushions below were a couple of finds from a flea market I visited in Amsterdam. The San Francisco print by Ork Posters was something I purchased the day I saw them on D*S. It’s my little shout out to my favorite city over the bridge.


On the trendier side, I have succumbed to the fad of organizing my books by color, which was a necessary step in making my boyfriend’s psychology texts more bearable to look at.

  1. Anna @ D16 says:

    Miles is such a doll! What a cutie.

    Christine, I love the fabric on the Danish chair in your living room. Do you know where it’s from?

  2. anh-minh says:

    What an awesome place! I especially love the Craigslist finds. I can’t believe she got such an amazing deal on the dining room furniture. And that entry table is superb.

  3. jennifer says:

    ok, where did you get that dog bed? You must share!

  4. Emily says:

    WHERE did you get that yellow floor lamp? It’s adorable!

  5. stephanie says:

    I love it. The hutch is beautiful. Your home is so warm and creative.

  6. donna says:

    Wow, I envy those of you who find beautiful things on CL for less than a $100. In my city, Toronto, it’s tough to find people selling anything comparable for less.
    I especially love the pink bench/settee.

  7. Oh, I love this place – it’s so sunny, and craftsman style dwellings give the greatest open-yet-cozy layouts.

    A bit jealous of your lucky-find success outfitting your dining room so wonderfully for $200 (!)

    Where is the cool clock from on the final page?

  8. Kristen says:

    I adore this home. Absolutely fantastic, inviting and so fun to look at!

    Tell me about your magazine rack…I want to see more of it. I am looking for something stylish to hold mine!

  9. Hi!
    Anna: The fabric on the danish chairs actually came with the chairs when we purchased them so I have no clue where it’s from. :(
    Jennifer: I originally bought it from Room Service in LA but I saw them more recently here:
    You can’t shop online but I would give them a call. Miles LOVES his tent!

  10. al says:

    wow. can i come visit you?

    i’m only half kidding…i’m an oaklander too!

  11. lisa says:

    what a gorgeous home! i’m in looooove with that yellow floor lamp. i MUST know where you got it!

  12. The yellow floor lamp was a very lucky $35 vintage find at Antiques by the Bay here in the SF Bay area.
    The clock in the last photo was something my bf picked up at a boutique store in Oakland but it’s made by Cupecoy clocks and has several nationwide retailers.
    The magazine rack came from the same store (Urban Indigo) in Oakland. I’m not sure who makes it.

  13. Joshua says:

    the black bookshelf is exactly what i’ve been looking for… where could i find this piece? everything else looks incredible! bravo!

  14. Hijiri says:

    Wow, I love your colors and finds!! and of course, MILES! The tent is super cute.

  15. dude, show’em the moose head !

  16. susan says:

    christine i love it! congrats on your site and your fab apartment. cant wait to read more features!

  17. Hi Joshua. The shelf is from Ikea though I don’t know if they still carry that particular one. Hope you can find it at your local ikea! :)

  18. Vanessa says:

    Miles’ tent is to DIE for! Love how the door ties open! Annnd I actually really like how you organized your books by color -I might try it!

  19. Nelson H. says:

    the second i stepped into Christine’s GORGEOUS apartment, i was taking a mental list of immediate must haves. i love everything about her living space and LAMA!

  20. Lindsay says:

    hiya. i hope you are still answering the “where did you…” questions. because i was wondering where did you get that pink “for like ever” poster?? :)

  21. Danielle says:

    i love all the pops of color and that sign in the kitchen is INCREDIBLY fun! and i can’t forget, the FOR LIKE EVER, a personal favorite!

  22. Lindsay says:

    nevermind… found it with an easy google search. :)

  23. Kristan says:

    I love the warm yellows/oranges!

  24. Mrs. G says:

    I want those blue Fu dogs! Where can I get them?

  25. natalie says:

    I always love D*S sneak peeks soooo much, but this one was such a special treat. Thankyou for sharing! I love your use of colour especially. Also I was wondering if you knew who did the super-cute Built To Spill poster, and if you can buy them online (and other prints too perhaps?)

  26. aLi. says:

    lindsay – you can find the poster for sale here, though it’s gone up in price (used to be $30)


  27. Nelson H. says:

    where did you get your dining room table coaster??

  28. emi says:

    tenes una casa hermosa!!!

  29. san smith says:

    The colors in her home are fabulous – I love the splashes of yellow through out. Her home has a very unique feel – my favourite photo is the bedroom (and the chandelier!)

  30. casafroggy says:

    I am SO glad for that picture of Christine’s kitchen. It affirms that yellow walls with elements of bright orange and red DO work well together. I am in the home stretch of finishing my kitchen and it’s comforting to see others taking the plunge with neighbors so close to each other on the color wheel!

  31. p. says:

    Just another note to say how much I LOVED this home tour. Such a great use of color. I want to move right in.

  32. moodboard says:

    I love that pink velvet settee! And whoa, I remember when the Like Forever poster was like $22:/

  33. Thanks for all the lovely comments!
    Mrs. G: I found my Fu Dogs on ebay. :)
    Natalie: Here’s the link for the Built to Spill poster from Hero Design Studio: The poster is a bit pricey now much like the For Like Ever Poster which I originally paid $10 for!
    Emi: Muchos Gracias! Un beso! ;)

  34. sally says:

    …, love, love the knitted pillow…..

  35. wedge says:

    Your boyfriend must be a real push-over. Nonetheless, I love what you’ve done with the place!

  36. Rebekah says:

    where did you get the bird on the wall above the hutch in your dining room? i love it!

  37. read me... says:

    OH WOW such a lovely home

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Where can I find the San Fran poster? What etsy artists are your favorite, like, could you give me a few names of them so I could search? I love your art. And could you e-mail me your replies? I will forget to check back.
    Thanks so much!

  39. Mary Kate says:

    I love that yellow floor lamp. I bought an industrial style light fixture at a salvage yard and want to turn it into a floor lamp, with that shape. lovely.

  40. Teri says:

    I love your artwork in the bedroom!

  41. Loris says:

    I absolutely ADORE the rooms! They’re so fun and full of personality! I have that same bookshelf, by the way. The rainbow color scheme worked well; I suppose I’ll try a new way of organizing my bookshelf.

  42. Jane says:

    Really enjoyed this sneak peek. I love how Christine used the zebra rug from Dwell Studios for Target. I featured the rug on my blog (
    and I bought it for my daughter’s nursery but have been tempted to steal it for my own boudoir. Thanks for the great feature.

  43. melly says:

    What a beautiful home! The yellow is such a great perk-me-up colour. My favourites are the photos of the kitchen and the happiest dog in its tent.

  44. Kayla says:


    Even though I missed the chance to see your guys place in person it looks so warm and comforting. Congrats on the feature you totally deserve it with how hard you work. And I love that no matter how many times I see Miles he still looks like a mix between a dog and an ewok… so adorable. Hope to see you soon.

  45. Allie says:

    Your place is fabulous!! I can’t wait to get some LAMA designs into my home. I need more color. Congrats girl. :)

  46. DesignerKim says:

    This house is so creative and fun. I’m surfing out to buy a pup*tent for my baby, Romeo!

  47. Frenchy_googler says:

    zebra rug must be taking seriously ?

  48. I loooooove this house! I love it so much I did a teeny blog of this blog :)
    One day I’ll have a sunny yellow house with colour coded books too :D eep!


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